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By Michael A. Ross, Published January 24 2009

‘Linear’ history flawed

"All the programs since the Great Depression were meant to prevent recessions and depressions. Yet all that was done was to plant the seeds of the greatest financial bubble in all history.” – U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.

The “wise and learned” of our day are making a fatal mistake: They are plugging everything into history. History is important in that it tells us where we have been, and gives us clues as to where we are going. Human nature has not changed, so the same patterns of greed and fear continue to set themselves up.

The recent pattern of greed that began after World War II is now ending and turning to fear. The “experts” first saw no broader economic issue beyond the “contained” subprime crisis. Then a cyclical downturn (recession). Now a long-term economic implosion (depression). What’s next? Total societal collapse and disintegration? Where this will take us, history alone cannot tell. As Mark Twain put it, “History does not repeat but it rhymes.”

In the West (formerly known as Christendom) history is seen as linear, not circular. In biblical terms: Creation, resurrection, consummation. Where we are now we have never been. Where exactly we are going, nobody knows. We do (or should) know that morally and financially we have done everything that has brought civilizations to an end. Perhaps we will be the first to continue in perpetuity. All great civilizations have believed this.

We have said with “eternal” Rome and Babylon of old: “I will sit as a queen forever” (Isaiah 47:7). But history is littered with collapsed nations, kingdoms and empires. Perhaps our technology and our seemingly all-powerful institutions such as the Federal Reserve will save us. “Don’t fight the Fed” and “stocks always go up in the long run” are the worn-out clichés we have been told in recent years. If there is anything that history tells us it is that market forces always win in the end.

As of Dec. 16, the Fed has lowered interest rates to zero and has flooded the banking system with trillions of dollars of reserves. We have become a “bailout nation.” All monetary ammunition is being spent. If the economy does not respond in due time, we are finished. The day of reckoning is at hand. Happy New Year.